Rest in Power Feed

I Know, girl, I KNOW

TreeblogA few years ago, when I first made the leap from nightlife to corporate, a friend of mine reached out to ask if I was available to marry a couple of his friends who were coming up to New York from Atlanta. I, of course, said yes. 

This friend wanted to get me the deposit as quickly as possible so he offered to stop by my job. I didn't really think anything of it until he showed up and I saw myself through his eyes - he was used to seeing me in jeans, a t shirt, maybe in tennis shoes or Doc Martens, but I stepped into the reception in my office drag - button down shirt, khakis, nice shoes and wearing glasses. He burst out laughing, and I immediately knew why and I started laughing too. I whispered a wry,  "I know, girl, I KNOW!" and he giggled all the way out the door. (there aren't many people I will do "girl" with, and he was one of them). 

For some reason, I think of this scene often and, in particular, was remembering it this week when I have been thinking of where I am in my life. I had a good giggle and thought that I should reach out to him and see what he was up to as it had been a couple years since we last spoke.

Unfortunately, Friday morning I found out that this friend passed away in an auto accident in Florida on Thursday.

I am heartbroken.

He was a sweet, funny, man who had delighted me with his sparkling personality every time I would encounter he and his boyfriend while I would be out and about. It was hard not to find him charming and so many people did; he had many close friends scattered here and there and was much loved and appreciated. 

Knowing that I will never see him again has brought me to tears. 

When someone leaves us that we haven't seen in awhile, we vow to see everyone we know because we don't want that to happen...and yet, that's unrealistic.

But, I think that we can make more of an effort, certainly, to see more of our old friends than we do.

And most importantly, we must remember those moments when someone has touched us in ways that they may never fully know. They may "just" be someone you knew that brought some joy to your life....  and when they are gone, they leave a bit of a hole. 

Peace, my pal, you made a lot of people smile, including me. 

Happy Birthday, Mom

MomGood morning, and happy Tuesday, August 13th! 

Today would have been my mom's **th birthday; it's been nearly 7 since she passed. 

I see her in so many parts of my life, and in so much of the world and although I used to feel as though she was hanging around, giving me a push now and then, I think she's finally moved on to other things. And that's a good thing. 

I have written about her a lot on this blog and will so again as I write the JOHNS AND MARYS entries, so I'll keep this short today. But I've posted one of my favorite pics of her. I'm standing next to her in a white t shirt (you can see a bit of it) but I wanted to spotlight just her.

You'll notice she's wearing two sets of glasses. I used to wonder about this until I got into my 50s. Now I understand. Time really is the great educator and our experience makes a lightbulb go off about our parents - ah!, we say, that's why they did that thing that seemed so strange back then! :) 

May we all have those epiphanies now and then! 

Happy Birthday, Mom! smooch. 

JOHNS AND MARYS chapters you might have missed:

1 The Lucy Show

2 The Things Before We Wake

3 The Gasoline

4 The Swing Set

5 Boys Don't Kiss Other Boys 


RIP Robert W. Richards #leslielohman #art #newyork

Good morning and Happy Monday.

Today, I feel the need to write a little bit about something that happened recently:  On Friday, July 12 I found out that one of my favorite New Yorkers had passed away: Robert W. Richards. 

WithRWRRobert was an artist of note who was one of those New Yorkers who was the very definition of "fabulous" and he always made everyone he encountered feel fabulous even if they weren't as fabulous as he was (which is most of us). 

I am honored to have had a portrait illustrated by him of me for a magazine during the late 90s when I was producing fundraising events here in NYC and in LA...... I did not sit for him, but discovered the portrait on the cover of a gay weekly magazine in 1998. I moved to LA the week it was published and, without the miracle that is social media, never met him on that first go 'round here. 

But, a few years later I returned to New York and began, among other things, producing a weekly fundraising Bingo event at which I would always feature LGBT celebrities. One week I did a fundraiser for the Leslie Lohman gallery and I came up with the idea of having someone create a work during the event that we would auction off; they suggested Robert.

The moment he arrived, it was like meeting an old friend. I expressed the honor that I had at being drawn by him and, portrayed, perhaps, a bit more fabulously than I really was. :) 

At one point during the event, he pulled me aside and told me that he had had buyers interested in the original, but that he had told them that he had lost it. He then presented it to me, signed. I was beside myself with gratitude. 

It has been framed and hanging in my hallway for over a decade. It is one of my most treasured possessions. Later, he included the portrait in a book and gave me a copy with a personal note written inside "thanks for the loan of your fabulous face, Robert".

While not close friends, per se, over the next 10 years or so, when we would run into each other at events, parties, gallery openings, etc it really would be like running into an old trusted friend and companion. I suspect many people felt this way about him.

Robert's art touched many lives and, for this small town guy, having Robert in my corner really meant something to me in ways that may not have fully known.

For a variety of personal reasons, I am choosing not to post the artwork, however, I will value it til the end of my days as a reminder of a special and specific time in my life and as a tribute from a man for whom I had tremendous respect and admiration. 

Rest in peace/power, Robert W. Richards, you will be missed by many, but especially by me. 

(Pictured, Robert W. Richards and I July 11, 2007, Midtown Manhattan. Photo by A.B.)